Businesses are literally getting back on their feet as people come together to get out of the home office and stroll and talk while "netwalking".

The group Natural Netwalking has partnered with Blenheim Palace to host one of its walks every month.

It is one of 10 locations in the county hosting rambles that are good for health and great for business too.

Jackie Jarvis, co-founder of the group, says the work-from-home experience of most people has created a big opportunity.

She said: “After the last 18 months, people who have been restricted to online conversations really want to meet face-to-face, but it is not always realistic. People are still a bit uncertain about more confined indoor spaces. This is very safe because we are outdoors so you can chat easily with people and there is plenty of space. The beautiful grounds at Blenheim add an extra motivation to join in.”

Natural Netwalking began before the pandemic but has been boosted by so many people taking up walking as their main exercise during the lockdowns.

For many businesses, the need to get back to normality is vital.

Jackie said: “Business is very sociable. It must be, and there is no real substitute for face-to-face conversations. So, the excitement you get from talking whilst you walk together is huge. Knowing you are safe but sharing something more than a cup of coffee. People open up in a positive way, chatting as they ramble. And I believe there’s something special about the relationships forged on our walks.”

Tony Hart, Head of the Oxford Smart Cities Project says Blenheim is ideal for the innovative small businesses he works with to forge valuable new contacts.

“For so many businesses the last 18 months has been exceedingly difficult to make the important contacts they need. They are critical in the earlier stages of for a growing business. Being in a special, beautiful setting to share experiences about life in business is ideal.”

It is hoped the setting, with its avenues of trees, lakes, and open views across to the palace will play a part in businesses recovering after what has been a tough time for many.

Co-founder Dawn Lillington thinks walking and talking will continue to grow and become part of the business landscape in Oxfordshire and beyond.

"We simply want people to experience for themselves a new and natural way of creating new opportunities and extending their networks. Whilst businesses are getting back to their offices and workspaces more, hybrid working is here to stay in some form. That makes getting out and meeting people even more important than ever.”

To book a place, visit

The next walk at Blenheim is on Wednesday October 13, 9.30am-11.30am.